Mutlanger Heath

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The Mutlanger Heide is an area in the area of ​​the municipality of Mutlangen in eastern Baden-Württemberg . The Mutlanger Heide became known nationwide as a missile base on which, due to the NATO double resolution, Pershing II nuclear medium-range missiles of the US Army were stationed from 1983 to 1990 , which were subordinate to a unit in Schwäbisch Gmünd . It was referred to as the 56th Field Artillery Brigade and most recently as the 56th Field Artillery Command .


Pershing II missile and mobile launch vehicle of the 56th Field Artillery Brigade

The Mutlanger Heide was already used militarily in Roman times . From around 150 AD, the Limes ran over the Mutlanger Heide. Later, in the 15th century during the peasant wars, the heath was a parade area for peasants who wanted to raid the Gotteszell and Lorch monasteries. In the 19th century the Württemberg garrison drilled on the Mutlanger Heide, later the Reichswehr and Wehrmacht followed.

After the Second World War , the area became a base for the US Army . When the Soviet Union deployed newly developed nuclear medium-range missiles of the type SS-20 from the end of the 1970s, a heated discussion began in the West about whether this would lead to a superiority of the Soviets in Europe. The nuclear strategy of the “ balance of horror ” led NATO to rearm in this category of nuclear weapons as part of the double decision - the so-called “retrofitting” of the western alliance, combined with an offer to negotiate with the Soviet Union. The deployment of medium-range missiles of the Pershing II type was planned only for the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as cruise missile missiles in other European NATO countries .

When the deployment intentions of NATO became known, this sparked violent protests by the peace movement . The retrofitting opponents protested across Germany and formed so-called "chains of peace". In Mutlangen, demonstrators repeatedly blocked the access to the US camp. In the summer celebrities also took part in the demonstrations, such as the SPD politician Oskar Lafontaine , the writer Heinrich Böll , the Tübingen rhetoric professor Walter Jens and Petra Kelly from the Greens . “Our courage will take a long time - not only in Mutlangen”, the demonstrators chanted at the gates of the base.

The press hut , originally a barn, was used in 1983 by the peace movement as a contact point for journalists who wanted to report on the celebrity blockade. When the nuclear medium-range missiles began to be deployed in November 1983, it became accommodation for the members of the "permanent presence". The military traffic to Mutlanger Heide was observed from the press hut and it was the contact point for the blockers who had traveled to Mutlangen.

On November 22, 1983, the Bundestag and the newly elected Chancellor Helmut Kohl ( CDU ) gave the go-ahead for the rockets to be stationed at three locations on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany : in Mutlangen , on the Waldheide in Heilbronn and in the Clay pit in the Neu-Ulm area . Despite this disappointment, the demonstrations continued; Even during the extremely cold winter of 1983/84, the opponents of nuclear weapons sat freezing and huddled close together in front of the gate of the base on the Mutlanger Heide.

In 1984 the press hut was opened by the Mutlangen Peace and Meeting Center Association. V. acquired from the previous owners, a couple from Mutlange.

The numerous protests and at times hundreds of demonstrators were not only welcomed with joy in the small Swabian town. Although many residents were concerned about the danger posed by nuclear weapons, the media presence suddenly bursting into the place was perceived by many courageous people as a disruption of the local idyll.

Finally, in 1990, the Pershing II missiles were withdrawn from Mutlangen and scrapped in accordance with the 1987 INF Treaty between the USA and the Soviet Union. The US base was dissolved and the site returned to the Mutlangen community.

This decided to rededicate the area to a residential area. Most of the military facilities were razed . In addition to parts of the old runway, there are only two depot bunkers. They are now used by the community as a warehouse for road salt and waste paper.

Press hut, 2013

The press hut has been used as a conference center for peace policy issues since the Pershing II rockets were withdrawn in 1991.

Bunker, 2013

The Mutlanger Heide is now a newly built residential area in the Mutlanger district. A solar park of the Schwäbisch Gmünder Stadtwerke was built on the Mutlanger Heide in the Schwäbisch Gmünder district. In addition to the bunkers, a new history trail set up at the end of 2007 reminds of the eventful history of the site.


  • Manfred Laduch, Heino Schütte, Reinhard Wagenblast: Mutlanger Heide. A place makes history. Remsdruckerei Sigg, Schwäbisch Gmünd 1990.
  • Volker Nick, Volker Scheub, Christof Then: Mutlangen 1983–1987: The stationing of the Pershing II and the civil disobedience campaign up to disarmament , Tübingen 1993, 228 pages. Documentation with background articles, experience reports, documents, process protocols, etc. on the history of the peace movement's actions in the 1980s in and around Mutlangen ( available online at , to leaf through the book, click on "Previous Page / Next Page")

Individual evidence

  1. s. Mutlanger Heide - The Limes already ran over the Mutlanger Heide in Roman times. In the 15th century, farmers gathered here to raid the Gotteszell and Lorch monasteries during the Peasants' War ,, accessed on August 2, 2019.
  4. Archived copy ( Memento of the original dated February 2, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Coordinates: 48 ° 48 ′ 54 ″  N , 9 ° 48 ′ 22 ″  E